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National Biennial Symposium for Veterans, 2013

Invisible Injuries of War: PTSD, TBI, TEI, and Poly-Traumas

The  Wisconsin Veterans Foundation, Inc., is spearheading the National Biennial Symposium for Veterans. The National Biennial Symposium for Veterans has been developed to focus on veterans' issues.

Designed on a biennial basis this timing provides the Leadership Council the time necessary to adequately define veterans' issues, their contents, locate experts in respective fields, and develop a forum upon which to address the issues coherently and with content aimed at the professionals in search of the tools and resources to aid veterans, their families, and community.

The first symposium, Invisible Injuries of War: PTSD, TBI, TEI, and Poly-Traumas, scheduled for October 4-5, 2013, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is designed for practitioners working with veterans with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, traumatic eye injury, and combinations of these injuries referred to as poly-traumas. In creating this symposium, has been the development of the National Biennial Symposium for Veterans skeletal framework. The foremost elements being:

1.  The creation of National Biennial Symposium for Veterans Leadership Council who will identify, populate, and direct the requisite sub-councils and committees to identify and respond to specific veterans’ issues.
2.  The development and presentation of the first symposium designed for professionals seeking the tools and resources necessary to address specific veterans’ concerns and needs in the areas of PTS or PTSD, TBI, TEI, and Poly-Traumas.
3.  The design, development and installation of an open source network and repository of information, research, tools and resources being developed and used to address veteran issues, concerns and needs.

The creation of the National Biennial Symposium for Veterans Leadership Council is an ongoing process started in 2010. The underlying goal in creating this Leader Council is to get not only a cross-section of disciplines and thought, but a cross-section of professionals within and outside of government facilities serving active military and veterans and a cross-section of professionals addressing both veteran and non-veteran issues globally. And developing this council without overloading it and eventually diluting potential involvement.

The first symposium, from the Wisconsin Veterans Foundation's standpoint, appeared to be apparent. With both active and transitioning combat military overwhelming hospitals and the burgeoning impact of tens of thousands of combat military being released from service and seeking assistance from our VA hospitals, with no visible wounds the answer was clear. That combined with the increase of fatal or near fatal instances of instances attributable to post-traumatic stress disorder was being seen across the United States. Suicide was on the rise both within active and transitioning military and veterans of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The first symposium was clear and set.

The design, development and installation of an open source network for the repository of all information collected as a result of the National Biennial Symposium for Veterans is a logical end product. Professional in all areas of healthcare should have and need access to as much information, peer-reviewed studies, interventions, and therapeutic procedures available regardless of the malady. In fact, since beginning the symposium efforts, the foundation has uncovered both national and global initiatives with this same goal in mind. Thus, the Wisconsin Veterans Foundation board and symposium's Leadership Council will be working toward on a joint initiative to piggyback efforts and in turn reducing overall development, storage, security, and delivery costs.

Pre-Leadership Council

Prior to the formation of the National Biennial Symposium for Veterans Leadership Council there existed the need for a group that could come together and discuss veterans' issues - a group that had a stake in veterans' issues be they mental health, family health, education, employment, or an area yet uncovered. The Wisconsin Veterans Foundation, Inc., planning team referred to this team as "The Stakeholders." The Stakeholders came from academia, businesses, government, the medical community including psychiatry and psychology, national and regional veteran service organizations, as well as county, state, and national government agencies or departments.

Like any group The Stakeholders bring a mix of both personal and professional skills and experiences as well as a set of expectations and agendas that may or may not match with the developing group of stakeholders, the planned symposium, or the Leadership Council. However, underlying all the potential mixes is the reason all The Stakeholders have come together - to meet the needs of veterans.

Call For Papers

The Call For Papers (CFP) will be posted online October 1, 2012. If there are any questions regarding the CFP please go to the Contact WVF tab.

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